Dianne says that she designed Cat Shapes to cater to diverse needs. Whether it’s navigating relationships, the effects of the pandemic, or difficult health conditions, Cat Shapes can help people from all walks of life.
“In my view, the main challenge of life at any stage or age is navigation of changes within and around us,” Dianne says. “So, I realised that a book illustrating ways to navigate all sorts of situations could be useful to many people. Having a resource like this is especially important in times like these where there is growing uncertainty. People have something that they can turn to for ideas about how to proceed when times are difficult or when opportunities present.”
Divided into three main sections — ‘Taking Shape’, ‘Making Shapes’, and ‘Shaping Ways’ — the book allows readers to build a path to navigate change and challenge in their lives, whether it is an everyday situation, or a time of challenge or crisis.
“I let the pictures tell most of the story in Cat Shapes rather than using words to tell the reader what I want them to find. This enables the reader to surface their own insights and wisdom,” Dianne says.
Whether it’s images of Dianne’s two cats curled up together, Ming Ming rolling playfully in the grass, or Li’l Fox curiously investigating their environment, each image tells a story about different approaches we can take to different situations.
“Cat Shapes is all about recognising that we are dynamic beings interacting with a dynamic world. Once we figure out what we want to move towards and have ideas for how to proceed, we gain access to the vast possibilities that each moment presents.”
JCU Senior Lecturer Dianne Salvador
“Each chapter has its own broad concept related to transformation,” she says. “‘Taking Shape’ is the first chapter, revealing that we are dynamic beings interacting with a dynamic world. We have a capacity to shape ourselves, our lives and the world around us. The next chapter is ‘Making Shapes’, which focuses on the 28 different shapes or approaches that can be used to respond to emerging demands, choose and change direction, and improve our lives.”
The last section, ‘Shaping Ways’, provides constructive options to navigate life using combinations of shapes. “This is where the magic happens,” Dianne says. “Usually, we don’t just take one action and stop if we want to create change. By combining a number of the shapes, we can find millions of ways forward.”